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MacWorld, May 2007

Reunion 9

By Jeffery Battersby

Superior genealogy program gets a complete overhaul

It's been four years since the last major release of Reunion, Leister Productions' beautifully designed and easy-to-use genealogy program. The latest version adds dozens of new features and enhances dozens more, resulting in more than 100 updates to an already excellent program.

Right out of the box Reunion 9 is a completely different application than the previous version. Rewritten from scratch in Cocoa, Reunion is now a native OS X program with several new features that will be familiar to anyone using Apple's iApps: The main window now includes a search box similar to the one in iTunes, iPhoto, and Safari. That means you no longer have to open a separate Find window to locate your relatives. You'll also find that the program's multimedia window — Reunion is capable of storing and displaying a wide variety of multimedia and image files — is reminiscent of iPhoto and can present slideshows of your photos from within the application. The program now supports Unicode — making it capable of handling a wide range of languages — and includes inline spell checking similar to Microsoft Word or Apple's Pages.

When creating genealogies that you'll want to post on the Web, Reunion can now export those Web pages using Cascading Style Sheets, making your data more visually appealing as well as conforming to best practice Web standards. The program also includes a new feature called Pod Cards, which allow you to export your files to your iPod and view them using the iPod's Notes feature. Unfortunately, you can't include photos in any of the cards that you export because the iPod's Notes feature does not support images.

In the past, some users complained that Reunion's List views were too inflexible. Leister Productions has completely reworked the program's List views in this version. You can now drag columns where you please, easily change the data currently being displayed, or edit the data that you're looking at.

Macworld's buying advice

Reunion 9 is a top-notch genealogy program. It's beautifully designed, easy to use, and a pleasure to work with. While four years is a long time to wait for a major revision, there's enough substance in this new release to please longtime users and plenty of tools to get new users on the road to discovering their roots.

Rating: (5 mice: the highest rating.)